by Beate Johns

Add warmth and dimension to your image with a sponge and ink. Sponging is a great way to distress and/ or age your cardstock.


  • Cardstock

  • Sponge

  • Scissor

  • Ink pads, both dye as well as pigment ink will work

  • Stamps

  • Cutter Kit or other distressing tool (optional

  • Embellishments


  1. Step 1

    Cut a sponge into smaller pieces.

    Try sponge daubers or cosmetic sponges, also. Each sponge will give you a different look. I prefer the sponge shown for a soft look.

  2. Step 2

    Stamp an image.

  3. Step 3

    Ink one a sponge wedge with the lightest color ink by tapping it on the ink pad.

  4. Hold the cardstock in one hand, the sponge in the other. Apply the ink by moving the sponge over the edge of the cardstock in an up and down motion.

    Repeat several times before reloading the sponge with more ink.

  5. Step 4

    Sponge all the edges of your cardstock. If neccessary, go around the cardstock again for a richer look.

    Don't apply too much ink at once. You can always go over it again. Once you have too much ink on it, it can't be taken off. You can only go darker, not lighter!

  6. Step 5

    For an even richer look, go over the edges again with a slightly darker color.

  7. Step 6 (Optional)

    Distressed edges look really good with sponged cardstock.

    Take an edge distressor (or cutter kit tool) and slide it over the cardstock edges, applying a little pressure.

  8. Step 7

    When sponging cardstock that will be a lower layer of a card, just ink the sponge and rub over the cardstock edge.

  9. The sponging will make the cardstock color richer. No need to try to make it look gradual. Only the outer part of the cardstock will show.

  10. Step 8

    Tape your layers together.

  11. Finish your card.

    You can find this card in the gallery HERE with all supplies listed.



    Different texture
    Different sponges will give you different results. The denser the sponge, the higher the ink transfer.

    Techniques that involve sponging

  1. Chalkboard

  2. Collage

  3. Embossing Resist

  4. Faux Leather

  5. Faux Mother of Pearls

  6. Faux Postage

  7. Faux Tearing

  8. Gesso Resist

  9. Grid Technique

  10. Paper Tole

  11. Poppin' Pastels

  12. Retiform

  13. Tapestry

Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Great tute Beate! smile
Bev  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 7:03 AM
How did you cut the scallop layer? I haven't been able to make a scalloped edge look like that. Thank you for your help! - Kim
Kim  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 10:59 AM
Where did you find the small round sponge??? I've been looking for them for months.
Sharon  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 11:23 AM
I cut my scallop paper with the Cricut and a cartridge that contains the scallop image - Storybook is one. You can also use deco scissors, corner punches with the guard removed, border punches, or scallop blades for trimmers. HTH
Gloria  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 11:25 AM
Yes, how do you get that edge??
Holly  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 11:32 AM
Stampin up has the sponges that are shown.
great grandmother  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 12:02 PM
How do you get the dots on all your cards? They are always so neat and uniform.
Ginger Foster  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 12:07 PM
I listed all my supplies in the gallery.

The scallop rectangle is cut with Rectangle Nestabilities Dies.
The scallop border on the bottom is punched with Scallop Edge border punch from Stampin' Up!
The scallop circle is punched with the Scallop Circle punch from Stampin' Up!

The round sponges can be bought from Stampin' Up! You get three for $3.50.
Beate  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 12:08 PM
This is gorgeous, and a wonderful tutorial as well!!
Rose Ann  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 12:13 PM

The dots are made with a paper piercer. Check our tutorial on Faux Stitching here. The first two steps show you how to paper pierce.
beate  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 12:19 PM
Wonderful tutorial! I found a great sponge at Lowe's...it's called a grout sponge (in the tile dept). Looks just like the one in the tutorial only rectangular. Used an electric kitchen knife and cut it into 12 pieces. The sponge sold for $2.
Tammy  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 12:49 PM
I work in a kindergarten classroom and we were trying to make "wanted" posters for a Texas public schools week display. We couldn't burn the edges of the paper for obvious reasons so we tore them and used SU Chocolate Chip ink and the sponge shown to get the same effect. They turned out amazing!
Jodi Boshart  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 2:07 PM
Beautiful card and the techniques are very helpful, thank you Beate and keep them coming. Ana Bella
Ana B. Schutz  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 6:39 PM
totally beautiful , i always have been a fean of layers and this card well what can i say , BEAUTIFUL!
Thank you Beatie  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 7:08 PM
I've bought those sponges from Michaels. They are located in the Art section by the brushes and palettes.
Pat  |  Wed Mar 4, 2009 at 7:51 PM
Gracias por todo lo que me estás enseñando, me encantan tus tutoriales porque son super ilustrativos y preciosos. España
Monika  |  Thu Mar 5, 2009 at 2:32 AM
I admire your work and always get inspired by
your ideas. Your blog is fantastic also. Keep those ideas coming. Dena
Dena S  |  Thu Mar 5, 2009 at 4:06 AM
Thanks Beate for the tutorial and for all the techniques that use sponging, i never new this and will be spending time checking them out.
Janet  |  Thu Mar 5, 2009 at 4:33 AM
You can also get the same sponges in the pottery section at Michael's. I guess it's what they use when shaping pottery on a wheel.
Jennifer  |  Thu Mar 5, 2009 at 6:35 AM
How do I post my cards for this sponging technique? I already have some cards saved in my gallery and hope I can just copy them so I don't have to re-enter all of the information. I'm a newby. Thanks
JlynD  |  Thu Mar 5, 2009 at 5:37 PM

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